понедельник, 29 июня 2009 г.

Not a smoker? You could still be at risk…

Non-smokers watch out… you are still smoking far too much! Not your cigarettes, but other people’s. Passive smoking is in fact very harmful to your health.

Cancer, heart attack, death – the picture is an extremely gloomy one. And whether you smoke or not, tobacco can still take its toll. It has now been scientifically proven that not smoking can still kill you! How? Well, someone who has never smoked a cigarette can, after 30 years of exposure to passive smoking, still be at risk of dying from smoking-related diseases.

Dr Paolo Boffetta of the WHO International Cancer Research Centre in Lyons has been working in this area for many years. He’s quite clear: long-term exposure to passive smoking increases the risk of lung cancer from 20% to 50%. Adults who have refused to smoke their whole life can still end up with grim consequences: aggravation of existing conditions, lung cancer, coronary accidents, etc. And for a child, the list is even longer still if both parents smoke: intrauterine growth retardation, low birth weight, respiratory infections, recurring otitis and asthma attacks.

In short, in societies such as ours, where the cigarette reigns supreme, nobody is safe from its harmful effects. So, a word of advice: if you find yourself in a smoky environment, get out … And take up the fight against smoking!

четверг, 25 июня 2009 г.

HEALTH: Are Electronic Cigarettes Safe?

The manufacturer of the so-called “e-cig” assures that its product – a battery-operated, tobacco-free, nicotine-laced, fake cigarette with a tip that glows red – is the first healthy cigarette. Suck on the brown, plastic filter, and the battery warms liquid nicotine stored inside and sends up a harmless puff of smoke. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration isn’t so sure about the effectiveness or safety of the electronic cigarette. Granted, it lacks the chemicals and tar acquainted with the addictive, real-tobacco cancer stick – inhaling pure liquid nicotine is the only concern – but the feds say more proof is needed before they give their stamp of approval. “Our product is comparable to the nicotine patch except people still get the oral fixation, which they love,” explained Elicko Taieb, CEO of Smoking Everywhere, one of the largest distributors of electronic cigarettes. “There are no ingredients in our e-cigs that can cause cancer. However, it is a pretty new product, so we are not 100 percent sure of the side-effects at this point, but we haven’t heard of any negative side-effects yet, but we are pretty sure they are safe.” However, as far as the FDA is concerned, e-cigs are an unapproved new drug and they lack scientific proof of their safety. “The FDA has been detaining and refusing importations since at least last summer of these so-called ‘electronic cigarettes,’ ” FDA spokeswoman Rita Chappelle told CNN. Dr. Steven Schroeder, physician and smoking cessation expert at the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center, says that “nicotine is not the thing in tobacco smoke that causes cancer, but inhaling pure nicotine may be dangerous. We have no clue what the health effects could be.” The American Cancer Society blames tobacco smoke on nearly 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. “If it is a choice between smoking tobacco product or a nicotine replacement – of course, keep taking the nicotine,” Schroeder said. “It is a heck of a lot healthier than tobacco smoking.” Taieb agrees. “We aren’t claiming electronic cigarettes help you quit altogether, but I promise our product won’t cause cancer. So no matter what way you look at it, it’s the healthier option,” he says. Thousands of e-cigs are sold in the United States daily, and U.S. sales are expected to double in 2009, according to the manufacturer.